On Frankenstein, Worldview’s Present Paradox, and Self Love

Aditya Mankad.

I find it so interesting that Easterners tend to mobilize themselves in response to criticism (what you’re doing is not good and sets you apart; do this instead so you don’t feel guilt and shame), and Westerners tend to mobilize themselves in response to positive feedback (what you’re doing is great and sets you apart; keep doing it if it keeps making you feel warm and fuzzy). It means that in the former setting, doing something different/something creative and bold simultaneously requires enormous force of will and for you to baselessly declare to everyone that you are the new status quo or better group interest; and in the latter setting, doing something different/something creative and bold is met with understanding more quickly, and requires less courage and force of will.

If one comes from both backgrounds and still, literally insanely, chooses to take risks to define themselves despite being a living, breathing individualist-collectivist/form-context/rationalist-subjectivist/linear-oscillatory/teleological-cyclical/good-evil paradox, they occasionally run into shitty situations where they feel both guiltily arrogant and shamefully immobile, and there’s this sort of existentialist depression that makes you want to proactively remove yourself from a world that for all its hubris can’t even find the conviction to say I simply don’t understand and therefore hate you with all my heart.

What’s worse is that the more deeply you investigate the philosophical traditions and logics of both universes in an attempt to understand yourself and bring harmony to your existence, the more you feel like a stitched-up Frankensteinian monster that has explored literature, science, religion, intellectualism, spirituality to the ends of the earth but still will never be capable of self-love. You’ve left Plato’s cave and sprinted as far as your acidic legs and sightless eyes could possibly take you before you finally stumble, fall, and crawl around to discover you are actually deeper in the cave than you had ever been before. Being Chinese and raised by a white parent is one way to find yourself in this place. Or perhaps just being a woman anywhere.

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